War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0507 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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'HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

'January 29, 1865-4 p. m.

'Major General E. O. C. ORD,

'Headquarters Army of the James:

'The following dispatch is forwarded to you for your action. Since I have no knowledge of General Grant's having had any understanding of this kind, I refer the matter to you as the ranking officer present in the two armies.

'JNO. G. PARKE,

'Major-General, Commanding.'

'HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY, CORPS,

'29th.

'Major General JOHN G. PARKE,

'Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

'Alex. H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, and J. A. Campbell desire to cross my lines, in accordance with an understanding claimed to exist with Lieutenant-General Grant, on their way to Washington as peace commissioners. Shall they be admitted? They desire an early answer to come through immediately. Would like to reach City Point to-night, if they can. If they cannot do this, they would like to come through at 10 a. m. to-morrow morning.

'O. B. WILLCOX,

'Major-General, Commanding Ninth Corps.'

"JANUARY 29-8.30 p. m.

"Respectfully referred to the President for such instructions as he may be pleased to give.

"EDWIN M. STANTON,

"Secretary of War."

It appears that about the time of placing the foregoing telegram in my hands, the Secretary of War dispatched General ord as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington City, January 29, 1865-10 p. m.

(Sent 2 a. m. 30th)

Major-General ORD:

SIR: This Department has no knowledge of any understanding by General Grant to allow any person to come within his lines as commissioner of any sort. You will therefore allow no one to come into your lines under such character or profession until you receive the President's instructions, to whom your telegram will be submitted for his directions.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

Afterward, by my direction, the Secretary of War telegraphed General Ord as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., January 30, 1865-10.30 a. m.

Major General E. O. C. ORD,

Headquarters Army of the James:

SIR: By direction of the President, you are instructed to inform the three gentlemen-Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell-that a messenger will be dispatched to them at or near where they now are, without unnecessary delay.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

Afterward I prepared and put into the hands of Major Thomas T. Eckert the following instructions and message:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

Washington, January 30, 1865.

Major T. T. ECKERT:

SIR: You will proceed with the documents placed in your hands, and on reaching General Ord will deliver him the letter addressed to him by the Secretary of War; then, by General Ord's assistance, procure an interview with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, or any of them. Deliver to him or them the paper on which